Strike it Rich The Financial Independence Gold Rush

I started out writing an article on being Mortgage Free, which will be coming another day, but during my research I came across the Klondike Gold Rush also known as the Alaska Gold Rush, and the Last Great Gold Rush to name a few.  I am familiar with the Gold Rush in general with most of my knowledge being about the California Gold Rush.  I’m not a history buff, but I do enjoy U.S. history and how America took form over the years.  I started reading about the Klondike Gold Rush (I encourage you to read the summary, it will help you understand my article a little better, but it is not needed) and couldn’t get out of my head how similar the surge for Financial Independence has come across like a modern day gold rush, instead of traveling through the mountains and cold climate of Alaska, the FI journey is traveling through personal finance blogs and the over consumption of America.

I see many people have started their journey to Financial Independence in droves, we have heard from the likes of MMM and Jim Collins, ERE, CIRY on how it was accomplished, these are the people who gave us the original discovery that Gold could be found.  Like many of the people who heard about these initial claims we have refocused our lives to search and discover or better yet prospect for Financial Independence.  I couldn’t say it any better than those who started the stampede to riches, the journey for many proved to be too difficult to even arrive at the destination to find gold.  I immediately thought of obstacles like debt, medical expenses, self-doubt, and a new focus of another adventure or lack of focus on the adventure at hand, much like the news of finding gold in Nome, Alaska.  I don’t know what the next big boom of financial adventure will be for others, maybe other historical highlights like zero-down real estate, the tech-bubble, or buying and selling bit coin will lead others away from this search for Financial Independence.  Maybe others will tire on the search for financial independence, it’s hard to say.  Is the rush for Financial Independence just a rush to find that shiny object hidden in the rivers and mountains in Klondike?

It is no surprise that blogs about personal finance and financial independence have started up like a boom town, everyone rushing to stake their claim on a website to mine for gold.  Some are out for the adventure and journey, while others are truly hoping that they do find gold, those out for the adventure are not disappointed by not finding gold, but realize that the journey is the real experience.  If they find gold in affiliate marketing or Google adsense this is just an added bonus, not a life changer causing them to move to the rich side of town, but anyone who is part of the Even Steven Movement, would not buy the expensive house anyways because it could still cause us to break away from Even Steven.

Those who begin the journey for gold have very little  experience in becoming Financially Independent, we are bankers, IT professionals, engineers, and managers.  The only experience we can give is our own, not the entire book, but rather the introduction.  We each share a personal story about how we bought an investment, cut our expenses, or paid off debt.  It is like we have found a small nugget of gold along the way that we want to share with others to encourage others to continue their search for FI.  I can hear the blogger now “Look it’s real I have saved $100 on my cell phone bill!  Have you heard of MMM, yep he did it, he hit FI and has never looked back.”  Successful mining of gold takes time.  I have learned that paying off debt, cutting expenses, and creating passive income takes time.  Not only the path to FI, but creating a website on your journey and the gold you hope to mine from a click on a banner or a purchase of a cell phone or a book by the same means.

Much like the routes to Klondike, there is not simply just one way to Financial Independence.  Routes were taken by land and by sea, but travel in general was made difficult by both the geography and climate. The region was mountainous, the rivers winding and sometimes impassable per the overview from Wikipedia.  We may take many paths including the route of stock investments, but the winding river of the stock market going up and down with volatility is not for the faint of heart and those who have not prepared for the long journey.  Dividend investments can be a long climb to the top, where our dividends are greater than our expenses.  Real estate many see as impassable due to the high upfront costs and property management that goes along with it.  Those paths were the most common, but like the prospectors searching for gold, we have all taken allegiance to our investment of choice some of us even blog and write only about real estate and dividend stocks.  What the prospectors did was choose All-Canadian or All-American routes which avoided certain customs on each side and showed patriotism towards their home country, very similar to my mention of real estate as my FI investment of choice.

What is your route to Financial Independence?

What is your route to Financial Independence?

Life in Klondike

The massive influx of prospectors drove the formation of boom towns along the routes of the stampede, with Dawson City in the Klondike the largest. The new towns were crowded, often chaotic and many disappeared just as soon as they came. Most stampeders were men but women also traveled to the region, typically as the wife of a prospector. Some women entertained in gambling and dance halls built by business men and women who were encouraged by the lavish spending of successful miners.

The above statement from Wikipedia sounds a lot like the personal finance blogosphere, it may seem crowded, but many have stopped posting and only exist as Google search.  I do no think there are more men than woman bloggers, in fact I think it’s pretty even, but you will see many PF bloggers talk about their husbands and wives in general context.  Some entertain not by gambling or dancing but by writing posts or creating ideas for the blog.  We are all encouraged by the likes of those successful bloggers like J.D. Roth selling his blog for a lump sum, Pat Flynn sharing his passive income success, and many others who share that they have indeed been successful miners, finding gold.

Will we see the decline of Financial Independence or the decline of Personal Finance blogs?  Will the new Gold Rush be podcasts like Financial Samuari and Radical Personal Finance(I still need to listen to this one).  Has everything dried up and moved away from our boom town?

I’m not sure I have the answer to these questions, do you?  Will we reach financial independence or complete our debt payoff journey?  I have a plan and a course of action to get me to my desired destination of Financial Independence.  Many things could happen along the way and I’m prepared to share each step.  Many bloggers offer sound financial advice and share great personal financial stories that get you motivated.  Others offer money saving tips and ways to cut expenses to become Even Steven.  I hope everyone takes a little advice from everyone and decides what is right for them and what they think is logical and makes sense.  My desire is for everyone to reach their goals, to get a little nugget of gold from Even Steven Money and maybe even Strike it Rich with Financial Independence.

I started thinking:  Are we arriving late to Financial Independence, have the blogs and articles encouraged us to travel to FI, have they lost interest?  Are we digging in the alpine permafrost of debt and not able to get to our gold?  Is it bad to go on a journey that could eventually lead to wealth, but could have many die out from cutting costs and saving money, missing out on trips to see family and friends? 

16 Responses to “Strike it Rich The Financial Independence Gold Rush

  • Really interesting point! I can’t even think of FI, but like the gold rush folks, I don’t mind searching for it. 😉
    Melanie @ My Alternate Life recently posted…Fall DeclutteringMy Profile

  • Well, the gold was a finite resource and you had to look hard and be lucky. With FI, you have to work hard but the reward is not finite and you don’t need luck. OK, maybe you’ll have to change your side hustle if making income from your blog is not lucrative enough. 😉
    debs @ debt debs recently posted…To Take or Not To Take Early CPPMy Profile

    • EvenStevenMoney
      3 years ago

      Good thing FI is not finite, it would be a race to the finish. Side hustle, well still at that $0 range, but enjoying the ride.

  • There is a definite rush in the blogging world regarding FI. In just 6 months since I started blogging I have seen so many new dividend/FI sites pop up. It’s very encouraging to see so many joining the online chronicle of their investing exploits. Makes me think I’m on to something too. So I will keep digging for my gold and continue on my way and see where it leads in 10 or 20 years.
    DivHut recently posted…Filtering Great DividendsMy Profile

    • EvenStevenMoney
      3 years ago

      It’s great to see others get out there and share their stories. I never really thought of it as I was on to something, but great perspective.

  • I must admit I worry sometimes that we can get too caught up in the long, long search for that ‘gold’ of financial independence, and forget to enjoy life along the way. I like to think the act of working towards FI is where much of the real benefit is – becoming more self-aware, disciplined, grateful etc. You know, the whole ‘journey is more important than the destination’ and all that. There’s a risk that thinking about hitting FI as striking it rich might end up causing some disappointment when you actually get there – although I still have no doubt it’s a goal worth working towards!
    Jason @ Islands of Investing recently posted…A grown man’s first Disney experience – from AustraliaMy Profile

    • EvenStevenMoney
      3 years ago

      I like to think the act of working towards FI is where much of the real benefit is – becoming more self-aware, disciplined, grateful etc. I like that statement and I believe that is why I blog and write down my progress and my ideas, it’s worth it’s weight in GOLD!

  • I think many people do get caught up on the financial scheme of things. We often forget about how we need to enjoy the journey of the ride we are on.

    • EvenStevenMoney
      3 years ago

      I agree with you, I know many people associate enjoying the ride as buying items/over consumption/travel/etc enjoying the journey needs to mean we enjoying our lives and simplifying back to the basics of the things we love and enjoy.

  • Interesting food for thought here. Thank you for including my Frugal Autopilot post, I appreciate that. I have to continually remind myself not to get too caught up in the future and my plans for FI. I’ve still got to live in the moment and enjoy life–and, take trips to see family and friends :). It can be a hard balance at times, but on the whole, I think it’s worth it in the end.
    Mrs. Frugalwoods recently posted…Weekly Woot & Grumble: 6 Months & A Healthy HoundMy Profile

    • EvenStevenMoney
      3 years ago

      Happy to include your post. FI everyone’s dream, it’s just what they decide to do with it afterwards is usually what scares people.

  • I like your analogy! It’s definitely food for thought. (I might steal the analogy at some point and think through what it would have been like to see the gold rush happening and how to profit from it…)

    There’s definitely a massive growth of blogs/media surrounding FI. But, I see a couple of different paths that are emerging and will emerge.

    I think everyone should have a financial blog of some sort to give them a structured goal-setting system around their finances. They can write down where they are, where they want to go, and track their progress regularly. And they can use their own situation and write about their research as a way to structure their thoughts. They can also build an amazing community of friends and like-minded people to keep them encouraged along the way.

    But, it’s probably not a very lucrative endeavor for most. And it really doesn’t need to be!

    For some, (me included) the target is building a business around financial advice. And that is becoming more and more challenging every day because the online world is no longer the wild, wild west of amateurs. It’s now the daily landscape of the professionals who formerly worked in radio, TV, etc.

    The businesses that do make money are probably going to have much larger resources behind them than ever before and are probably unlikely to be individuals keeping a personal journal.

    I think there will be lots of breakout exceptions though–that’s why I love the internet! An individual still can break out of the crowd based on talent and hard work. It’s just a lot tougher than it was five years ago.

    Who knows if I’m right or not though…I’m brand new to this world too! Just trying to figure it out with you!

    (And thanks for the mention to my show!)

  • Alaska49
    2 years ago

    We hiked the Chilkoot Trail, the path the gold seekers used to reach the gold fields. It was awesome. It starts in the USA
    and ends in Canada. Lots of time to think about the old gold miners and your owen financial path while you are on the trail.

    • EvenStevenMoney
      2 years ago

      That’s awesome. I get so into long hiking trails and the effort of going the extra mile as it relates to hiking, finances, and just about every part of your life.

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